“…most often the very skills that propel an organization to succeed in sustaining circumstances systematically bungle the best ideas for disruptive growth. An organization’s capabilities become its disabilities when disruption is afoot.”
- Clayton Christensen, The Innovator’s Solution
In November 2005, Paul Graham wrote an essay titled The Venture Capital Squeeze. It had been over five years since the Nasdaq peaked in March 2000, and it was becoming apparent that VC firms were having trouble deploying the tens of billions of dollars they raised during the boom years. Graham argued that the proliferation of money combined with the decreasing costs to start a business were making the VC job more difficult, prophesying significant changes for the industry. He was right.
Over the years, venture capitalists have been some of the most ardent students of disruptive innovation. Large pools of capital have been … Read More »
It’s amazing what you can find in the garbage. When the Apple I was introduced to the public in 1976, it was built out of obsolete parts long forgotten by the titans of the computing industry. In its earliest form, the Apple computer lacked a keyboard or monitor. When the new and improved Apple II started to be mass marketed in the 1980’s it was positioned as a toy for children. Relative to the mini-computers and mainframe computers of the business world, the devices that started the personal computing revolutions were built from scraps. Yet, years later, the devices built out of spare parts that Jobs and Woz built in a garage gave way to some the most valuable businesses in the world.
My colleague and mentor at Harvard Business School, Professor … Read More »
Note to my readers: You may not like the contents of this post. It’s not meant to be a judgement, but an observation. I am certainly guilty of the behavior I am discouraging. Though I would not categorize myself as one of our best and brightest…
Thomas Kuhn wouldn’t be impressed with the hordes of MBAs departing from top tier business schools to start new media companies, build the next big mobile gaming company, or launch another clone daily-deal site. But that’s not where Kuhn’s disappointment would end. Kuhn would probably be disheartened by the slew of intelligent students learning to code in computer science programs instead of pursuing degrees in electrical engineering or computer engineering degrees. In short, despite the fact that technology is one of the last bright spots in an otherwise … Read More »